As the last few drops of rain lethargically roll off the bill of my hat, I slowly begin to peel away the shelter of clothing from around my damp face. Suddenly, without warning, I spot him approaching. He is moving like a meteorite. I quickly shuffle my feet and begin swinging my bow arm around for the potential shot. I reach full draw just as he comes to an abrupt halt within my shooting lane. “How lucky I am!” I think to myself. All I can see through my peep site is his extremely wide, chocolate colored rack. For a few seconds, I simply admire it. I sense my bow arm drop, bringing the pin somewhere near his vitals. Before I realize it, I punch the trigger on my release-aid….and the arrow is gone. Much to my amazement, it zips harmlessly over his rain soaked back and into the unknown reaches of the lonely forest. Just as quickly as he had arrived, he is gone. I watch his broad headgear sway from side to side as he makes his poignant escape. And just like that…I remember how cold and wet I really am.
Today, I look back on that incident with fond memories. No, not the shot itself, but the experience; specifically what it taught me. Sure, I would love to be writing about how my perfectly placed arrow passed through both lungs, resulting in a short trailing effort and plenty of smiling photos. But, I can’t. However, what I can do, is share with you what I learned in those moments just before launching my doomed arrow, and the days after it had found a new home somewhere in that rainy forest.